Weakness, tingling, hand coordination, paresthesia

Posted by craigjulian @craigjulian, Feb 14 6:04pm

Hello,
In early September 2020, I started waking up in the middle of the night with left arm tingling with a numbness sensation- almost like my arm was dead. Now, 5 months later, I still have these same symptoms but now throughout the day, not just at night.
In addition to those symptoms, my arm and hand are weak and hyperreflexia, with sometimes a cold or wet sensation that radiates down my arm. I also have twitching between my thumb and pointer finger and sometimes on my arm or shoulder, with tremors occasionally in my thumb.
I also notice a regular zing or tingling in my middle of my back. I don't have much pain but it can be uncomfortable at times, kind of like a dull or burning pain, especially when I am laying down on my back or when I'm sitting and typing because my hand and finger coordination is off.
These symptoms have made me so anxious thinking something serious is wrong that I've been to a couple of neurologist. I had a brain MRI which was normal a full spinal MRI which showed multilevel spondylosis but the neurologist doesn't think my cervical spine would be causing my symptoms based on my MRI and all my labs are normal.
I am set up for an EMG next Monday. I am completely petrified that it's ALS that I think the stress is making my symptoms worse. I was under a great deal of worry and anxiety when covid hit. I was working with covid patients regularly as a nurse for 5 months and was always in a state of panic and stress thinking I was going to get covid. I often wonder if the long term stress from that could be causing my symptoms? I wonder if stress can cause all these symptoms or if something else is wrong with me. i'm sure therapy would help. Thanks for any thoughts about my symptoms.

@craigjulian– I commend you for going an “alternative” approach. I put alternative in quotes, because I find it interesting that many modalities like this are deemed alternative in the US. I also find it interesting that people are more fearful of an acupuncturist, whom typically has a calming, peaceful environment for you, but people will see a medical doctor under striking fluorescent bright lights in a rushed, disgruntled environment. People are more open to swallowing a pill that effects every single cell in their body, yet more reluctant to have a small pin put into their skin, where at most you say ouch, it’s removed and the feeling is gone.

And the way you describe how the acupuncturist took the time to discuss how the mechanism of pain affects the body is really how it should always be done from the start.
A WHOLE body approach.
A pill from an MD will mask for a little while, causing another unwanted side effect. It will never take away your stress or calm the nervous system.

If anyone wants a more positive rabbit hole to go down, study the thousands of years of eastern medicine, specifically yoga, acupuncture chi gong, meditation and the “whys” it is effective.

There is a reason why the US is the most unhealthy country with the most money in health “care”. People have been trained to think a white coat and a pill is the answer.

Happy for you that you have found support and comfort!

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@lioness

@fiesty76 I,be been wanting to try accunpuncture but with covid haven't yet instead I use Tapping which is accupressure on certain body parts this does help but when I can going to one do they charge alot?

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@lioness, Like so many other services, acupuncture charges probably differ depending on the locale, individual practitioner and length of each session. However, both the orig. chiropractor/acupuncturist and current one charge less than an office visit to a traditional doc and about the same as what my dental hygienist charges. After the first retired, I called the current one to ask her charge and it was similar to what I pay for an hour massage.

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@borkoksg

One good article from a neurologist / neuroscientist that can explain what you were saying about mind (stress) causing actual physical symptoms:

“our day to day experience in life is absolutely FILLED with inconsequential symptoms that our brain and body naturally filter out.

Think about the onslaught of information overload your brain must deal with each day. Peripheral nerves spontaneously shooting off, either in response to some stimulus (appropriate) or not (inappropriate).

I'm sure everyone can remember a random grabbing pain in one part of their body that came on for no particular reason (ie. you weren't actually being stabbed) and passed just as quickly.

This is NORMAL. Our body is not perfect, and the brain's mammoth task is mostly to filter the infinite information to make sense of its environment. Is that jabbing pain a potential attack, or is it muscle spasm?

Mental health disorders, including anxiety, disrupt the normal pathways that sort through this information. Thus, what was once a transient, benign symptom suddenly becomes interpreted as potentially threatening.

Much like the Princess and the Pea, once your brain locks in on something and decides it's important, it then focuses additional resources on investigating it further – invariably this means such usually-benign symptoms are increasingly detected, and the symptoms then become self-fulfilling:

"It'd go away if it was nothing, but now I'm feeling it often, it must be something".

Interesting point of view and very relevant to my situation where stress and anxiety, irrational fears and hypochondria kind of came together and instead of focusing on moving forward I obsess with looking for some underlying issues that I convince myself it’s there.

Good luck with acupuncture and massage – I scheduled the same 🙂

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@borkoksg-this is accurate. If more people understood this, they could save themselves from this cycle and work on the real problem at hand. Googling symptoms and seeking answers from people who are also googling symptoms, will keep you stuck.
Stress/Anxiety manifests in the body. If this emotion is not addressed, then starts the bodily symptoms.
Where the mind goes, the energy flows.
Work on your thoughts first. The last place you need to be is a doctors office for health anxiety. Doctors actually make a lot of money off of people who can not trust themselves and their body.
Work from within and address the patterns you have created that are not serving you.
Cheers to you for learning this and taking a real approach to help yourself.

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@nrd1 I agree. Googling symptoms can add to anxiety and added stress. Having said that, it is human nature to seek and share experiences when searching for answers like is done here on Mayo Clinic Connect between members. I do really like your saying… "Where the mind goes, the energy flows."

Can you share with others what works well for you when you learn something challenging, particularly with regard to your health, and don't know what do to first/next?

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@fiesty76

@lioness, Like so many other services, acupuncture charges probably differ depending on the locale, individual practitioner and length of each session. However, both the orig. chiropractor/acupuncturist and current one charge less than an office visit to a traditional doc and about the same as what my dental hygienist charges. After the first retired, I called the current one to ask her charge and it was similar to what I pay for an hour massage.

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@fiesty76 Good to know thanks .

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@amandajro

@nrd1 I agree. Googling symptoms can add to anxiety and added stress. Having said that, it is human nature to seek and share experiences when searching for answers like is done here on Mayo Clinic Connect between members. I do really like your saying… "Where the mind goes, the energy flows."

Can you share with others what works well for you when you learn something challenging, particularly with regard to your health, and don't know what do to first/next?

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@amandajro-Yes! And in fact thank you for asking.
If you go back and read the original post to this thread, the member gives a clear picture of what they’ve been experiencing. Stress.
-Someone who is suffering from so much stress to where it shows up in the body, will often end up going to multiple doctor visits, having tests that further perpetuate their situation. This does nothing for the mind, which then does nothing for the body.
A person can not get to a calm state , because they, as well as doctors keep them on the hunt with referrals and tests until they’ve exhausted themselves or perhaps got themselves into a worse off situation by a doctor who just wants to diagnose them with something/anything.
-Stress causes inflammation, tension and lowers the immune system. People will want to seek help for the symptoms, but are missing the root cause of it all.
Almost all (almost) dis-ease is a result of stress.
-80% of all PCP/ER visits with complaints of headache or chest pain, are due to stress and lifestyle.
-Doctors can’t tell this to a patient because they are often afraid to be held liable for advising a patient to relax, when a patient is seeking a diagnosis or prescription.
-When someone finds themselves googling or found of a forum that has people joining in doing the same thing, this also does nothing for their mind.
-I see many recommendations to patients experiencing stress, from people who keep encouraging them to get more and more tests, see more and more doctors, and try more and more medications. Or even throwing out all kinds of random possibilities of what they could have. Sending them on more google hunts.

-A big component I see missing in some of the support is the disconnect that people have from their mind/body. It is all connected. The placebo effect is real. People can literally, think themselves into a condition.

-The answer to stress does not lie in a specialist/MD.

-Lifestyle changes need to be addressed/recommended.

-Questions need to be asked to the individual.
What is your current daily schedule?
Sleep? Nutrition? Vitamins/Minerals? Excercise?
Movement? Free time? Hobbies? What do you do to relax? What is your support system like? What is your community like? What brings you joy? Do you have a pet? What are you passions? Etc…

-Recommendations of gratitude journaling, being in nature, getting at least 20 minutes of sunlight, grounding, creating, laughter, movement that puts you back into touch with your body, yoga, meditation, Qi Gong, acupuncture.

-The mind/body are one in the same. We live in a disembodied culture. This type of culture is the bread and butter of business for a doctor.

-Encouraging people to regain control of their intuition and innate wisdom.

-Life coaches can be great for this. Or someone to encourage better coping skills. Joining a community that encourages movement and connectivity to oneself and the body.

-A WHOLE body approach. Is all I ever try to provide with the support I offer.

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